Alanson Buck Skinner photograph collection, 1865-1925
NMAI.AC.001.036

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.001.036
Creators:
Skinner, Alanson, 1886-1925
Smith, Huron H. (Huron Herbert), 1883-1933
Van Schaick, C.J.
Dates:
circa 1870 to before 1926
Languages:
No_linguistic_content
Physical Description:
454 Negatives (photographic)
99 photographic prints
black and white
5 Lantern slides
Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
Tribes covered in the photographs are: Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Iowa, Iroquois, Mahican, Menomini, Ojibwa, Oto, Plains Cree, Potawatomi, Seminole, Seri, Shinnecock, Sioux, Winnebago, Zuni Pueblo. The majority of photographs (552) have Skinner listed as the photographer and presumably are photographs he took on his expeditions. However, 104 photos are of the Seminole in Florida. According to Dennis P. Carey's biography of Skinner (Unpublished? 1980) Julian Q. Dimock, a well-known photographer, accompanied him on his expedition to the Seminole in Florida; how many of the photos were taken by Dimock is unknown, but he is listed as the photographer for 23 of them. Skinner's other photographs are of the Seneca Iroquois in New York; the Zuni Pueblo and Hawikku site; several tribes in Wisconsin; the Chippewa in Minnesota; and miscellaneous shots taken in Canada, Costa Rica, Florida and New York. Two photographs of the Mahican were taken by Huron H. Smith (1923) and two of the Winnebago were taken by C.J. Van Schaick (c. 1870). The remaining photographs have no photographer listed but were in Skinner's collection of photographs and are of varying tribes with dates ranging from 1909 to 1923.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Collection arranged by item number.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Alanson Buck Skinner was born in Buffalo, New York, on September 7, 1886. His parents moved to Staten Island, New York, when Alanson was still very young. There Alanson met W.T. Davis who taught him to find arrowheads and other traces of ancient Indian life. When he was older he consulted with Prof. F.W. Putnam and George H. Pepper at the American Museum of Natural History about his interest. In the summer of 1902 Skinner went on his first fieldwork expedition near Shinnecock Hills, Long Island, for the American Museum of Natural History with Arthur C. Parker and Mark R. Harrington. Two years later Skinner and Harrington went on another archeological expedition in western New York State for the Peabody Museum and while there he attended his first Native ceremony on the Cattaraugus reservation. After high school Skinner joined the staff of the AMNH as an assistant in anthropology. In 1908 he led an expedition to Hudson Bay to study the Cree Indians. In 1910 he went to Wisconsin where he met John V. Satterlee, part Menomini, and Judge Sabatis Perote, a full-blooded Menomini, who adopted him into the tribe under the Thunder clan name of Sekosa or "Little Weasel." He later went on expeditions to collect from the Seminoles in the Florida Everglades, and other tribes in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and other states. During these years he was also studying anthropology at Columbia under Boas, Farrand, Saville, and Bandelier, and at Harvard under Dixon, Tozzer, and Farrabee. In 1916 Skinner joined the Museum of the American Indian and remained there until 1920, when he took a position as curator of anthropology at the Public Museum of Milwaukee. He returned to the MAI in 1924 where he remained until his untimely death on August 17, 1925 in a car accident in North Dakota. He was a member of the American Anthropological Association, the Wisconsin Archeological Society, the Explorer's Club, a York Rite Mason and a Shriner. A more detailed biography by Dennis P. Carey (1980) can be found in the vertical file. A complete bibliography of Skinner's writings can be found in Indian Notes, Vol. II, No. 4 (October 1925).

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies note
99 black and white prints, 454 negatives, and 5 lantern slides, of which 109 have been digitized (11 prints, 93 negatives, 5 lantern slides) as of December 2003.
Processing Information note
Processed by Gayle Yiotis
Author

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Access restricted. Researchers should contact the staff of the NMAI Archives for an appointment to access the collection.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Arapaho Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Canada Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cheyenne Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Costa Rica Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Florida Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of Mexico Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Great Lakes Region Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Great Plains Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--New Mexico Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--New York (State) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Southern States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Wisconsin Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iowa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iroquois Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lantern slides Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mahican Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Menominee Indian Tribe Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexico Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Minnesota Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Negatives Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Mexico Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ojibwa Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oklahoma Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oto Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Plains Cree Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potawatomi Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seminole Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seri Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shinnecock Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Siksika Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sioux Nation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Winnebago Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wisconsin Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wyoming Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zuni Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland , Maryland, 20746-2863
Phone: 301.238.1400
nmaiarchives@si.edu